Operation ‘Carne Fraca’ in Brazil
Question for written answer E-002406-17
to the Commission
Nuno Melo (PPE)
On 16 March 2017, the international press condemned Operation ‘Carne Fraca’, which was launched regardless on Friday 31 March 2017. The operation concerned about 30 meat companies in Brazil which had been selling contaminated meat on the domestic and foreign markets. Some of the fraudulent activity involved changing the expiration date of rotten meat, changing its appearance by using chemicals to mask the bad smell and injecting water into meat to make it weigh more, even in products used for school meals. If the trade agreement between Mercosur and the EU comes into effect, it is estimated that Mercosur's exports to Europe could increase by EUR 14 billion in 10 years, making it one of the meat sector’s main sources of revenue. In the bovine products sector, the EU study estimates that ‘more than 80% of the increase in imports would come from Mercosur’.
1. What is the Commission’s assessment of the above scandal?
2. Given the free trade agreement negotiations under way between Mercosur and the EU, how could the scandal jeopardise the agreement?